Start the search
Begin the bug hunt on your bed because it’s most likely where all the bugs are hiding. Take note that all items on your bed must be thoroughly cleaned—pillows, pillowcases, bedsheet, mattress, blankets, and even the bed frame. It’s not necessary to throw them away immediately once they get infested by bed bugs because you can clean them out.
Get your vacuum cleaner out and begin the first part of bed bug extermination. As much as possible, use a vacuum cleaner that’s designed to suck out bed bugs because regular vacuum units have a cloth chamber with openings big enough for the bugs to escape to.
Make sure that you’ll cover all the crevices and corners in your bed, and do a second vacuum run if you have to. After vacuuming, remove the vacuum bag and seal with another plastic bag before disposing so that the bugs won’t be able to get out.
Next, treat your bed by laundering the bed items mentioned above. For good measure, put them in a plastic bag when transporting them from the bed to wherever you’re going to wash them to prevent the “residue” bed bugs from falling out and spreading in the house.
If possible, use hot water in laundering the items and use the highest temp setting possible for drying them afterwards. This is to ensure that you’ll eliminate all the bed bugs present.
Steam work makes the dream work
We’re not stopping at washing the bed items. For this part, use a steamer with high heat output to eliminate all remaining bed bugs that could still be hiding deep in the bed mattress and pillows. Bed bugs and their eggs are extremely heat-sensitive, so crank the temp up and they’ll die instantly.
If your steamer can accommodate varying attachments, you can clean more areas since you can reach the corners that your vacuum wasn’t able to cover. Make sure that you run your high-heat steamer over each crack in the bed frame because bugs could be hiding inside. Work slowly and generously with the steamer to ensure that you’ll kill off all the bugs that survived.
Drizzle does it
If you want a stronger approach, you can spray your bed set with insecticide. This will significantly help with killing the remaining eggs and smaller bed bugs that the steamer didn’t reach. However, make sure that the insecticide you’re going to use is non-toxic and not harmful to breathe in, and that it doesn’t leave strong odors and stains on the fabric.
Focus on spraying along cracks and joints in the bed frame. As much as possible, spray on the bed only if you spot a bed bug. The nightstand beside your bed is also a possible bed bug hideout, so make sure to inspect and spray insecticide on its inner framework and drawers, too.
Nowhere left to go
Once you’ve gone through the measures above, it’s time to make sure that your bed will remain bug-free. Your goal this time is to trap the unhatched eggs to ensure that they won’t be able to bite you, survive, and reproduce.
Invest in bedbug-proof bed encasements—these are protective covers for your mattress, designed for keeping remaining bed bugs and eggs inside if there are still any left. Bug interceptors are also recommended. These serve as traps that you put under the bed posts.
Now that you have your bed protected, make sure that it’s not touching the wall and that the sheets aren’t touching the ground. In case there are bed bugs left, they won’t be able to climb up through any other platform apart from the bed posts, to which you’ve installed bug interceptors.
Turn the room upside down
All the stuff we did up to this point has all been for treating your bed. Now, turn your attention to the other items in your room. Begin by decluttering the room and placing the items in a sealed plastic bag just like what you did to the bed-related items in the first step.
For clothes and other garments, spin them in the dryer on high heat for 40 minutes. Don’t pack them away to your cabinet—instead, place them in clean plastic bags and wait for a few days until you’re sure that bed bugs hiding in your clothes have died of heat and starvation.
Make it a habit to vacuum your furniture, floors, carpets, and rugs. Bed bugs could be taking refuge in those items as well as the tiny, narrow spaces in between your hardwood floors. If possible, steam the carpets and rugs, too. When all else fails, you can always contact the professionals, like exterminator Toms River.